FCA engages with firms on claims handling thematic review

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is today engaging with firms and other interested parties to discuss the initial findings of its thematic review on household and travel insurance claims handling. The thematic review was designed to assess the extent to which insurers put consumers making claims at the heart of their businesses. Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of the FCA, launched the review in a speech to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association conference in May last year.

At a seminar being held at its London headquarters today, the FCA is discussing its initial findings with a range of firms, trade bodies and consumer groups.  Based on its work so far, the FCA is not proposing any new requirements or rule changes for firms in this area.

The FCA found that 65% of household insurance customers were satisfied with the way their claim had been handled; and 64% of travel insurance claimants were satisfied. Those with successful claims had a much higher satisfaction rate.

What is more, the FCA has uncovered no evidence of systematic attempts by firms to deny valid claims or to squeeze settlement costs. Nor did the FCA find evidence of deliberate attempts to slow claims down, with any delays instead being the result of poor processes or management.

Whilst the initial findings of the review are broadly positive, the FCA has identified for further discussion a number of areas where improvements will further increase customer satisfaction. These include:

  • how in-bound claims calls are recorded and used;
  • the ownership of a claim and communication with clients whilst it is being progressed;
  • management of supply chains in household insurance claims;
  • how medical conditions are dealt with in travel insurance;
  • handling of claims with long chains of delegation; and
  • clarity of product documentation.

Following the seminar, the FCA will be finalising its findings and publishing its full report in May.  

Notes for editors

  1. Martin Wheatley speech ‘Meeting the growth challenge’, BIBA conference, 15 May 2013.
  2. On 1 April 2013 the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  3. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  4. Find out more information about the FCA.